Monday 9 January 2023

Nintendo Switch Roundup 9: Oddities


The Switch is home to a huge amount of high quality indie games that cover every genre imaginable. Among them are a host of games that are trying something a little bit different. In this roundup we take a look at some of the wonderful oddities that have found a home on the console.  


A platformer at heart, the key selling point of Gris is its utterly stunning artistic design. The game is presented in the style of a delicate water colour as you play a women as she explores her way through the visual embodiment of various stages of grief. It’s quite short and the puzzles are not the most taxing but the overall experience is exceptional and offers up something refreshing and beautiful in a genre long in need of new ideas.

If you are looking for something to get lost in for a few hours then there is little out there as effective and emotionally engaging as Gris.

A Short Hike

The premise of A Short Hike is simple and follows a bird named Claire trying to make it to the top of a mountain to get phone reception for an important call she is expecting. The hike occurs in an open world park and players are free to explore how they want with the only restriction being that you can only go as high as the amount of feathers you have collected.

There’s a fair few distractions along the way and a host of other animal characters to stop and chat to. The story is also far more touching than you may be expecting.  It’s a very gentle game at heart with lots of great surprises and is guaranteed to be the most relaxing thing on your Switch.

Kentucky Route Zero

Perhaps the strangest game in this round up, Kentucky Route Zero follows a group of travellers as they encounter all sorts of interesting strangers on a hidden route running through caves beneath Kentucky. It’s a dialogue driven adventure game with a heavy helping of surrealism on show. It’s both very arty and very strange but the tale it tells is interesting and thought provoking.

Much of the journey is spent cycling through dialogue choices but these do effect what happens in the game and also act to allow players to project their own fractured personalities onto it. Those looking for a tradition point and click experience may be disappointed but the locations you visit and characters you meet are such a highlight that it should keep you engaged.

It’s certainly not a game that everyone will ‘get’ but for those that really connect it will no doubt prove to be something that they remember for a long time to come.

Katamaria Damacy

The original oddball game, Katamari Damacy is still as much fun now as it was when it first appeared back on the PS2. The basic premise is that you need to roll up stuff in order to create new stars and planets after the king of the cosmos accidentally destroys them. Think of it as an intergalactic dung beetle simulator.

In order to do this you start small, picking up tiny objects that gradually expand your sphere bigger and bigger until you are eventually rolling up people, cars and houses. This is done against a time limit with the king of cosmos often berating you after each level for doing such a bad job.

There are extra characters to unlock and some different takes on the rolling formulae such as having to get a ball as close to a certain size as possible but the basic premise remains the same throughout over the wide range of courses. If that sounds like your thing then look no further.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

If you’ve ever wondered what a concept album turned into a video game about a young women’s heart break would look like then wonder no longer. The game changes constantly as you progress with some levels being as short as 30 seconds. One level might have you flying through the sky while the next may see you riding on a motor bike or shooting lasers as the neon tinged stages twist and contort to the mood of the music playing.

It’s a game designed to be played through in one go in order to get the best experience and offers something truly unique. Sayonara Wild Hearts may be brief but it’s also a brilliant and highly replayable ride.

Thimbleweed Park

An 8-bit throwback to the days of Maniac Mansion, it’s fair to say that there isn’t anything out there quite as odd as Thimbleweed Park. The town is a strange place to visit with a host of oddball characters to meet and the X-files-esque FBI investigation that takes place goes off in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways. It may not quite be up there with the classics of yesteryear but fans of the point and click genre will find much to like here.

We took a more detailed look at Thimbleweed Park here -

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